Abusing robots – current positions [part 3 of 4]

Continuing our observation of inquiries into the torture of robots, we now turn to the ethical questions raised (by some). Kate Darling – who presented the recent ‘Robotic Dinosaur Abuse Workshop’ in Geneva, examines such questions in a paper entitled – Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots – (presented at the We Robot Conference, University of Miami, April 2012). In which the author points out that:

“Not long after the Pleo robot dinosaur became commercially available in 2007, videos of Pleo ‘torture’ began to circulate online.”

Here is an example cited in the paper [ Advisory : Not suitable for Pleophiles or those of a sensitive disposition towards robots]

“The typical debate surrounding ‘rights for robots’ assumes a futuristic world of fully autonomous and highly sophisticated androids that are nearly indistinguishable from humans. While technological development may someday lead to such a Blade Runner-esque scenario, the future relevant legal issues are currently shrouded by unforeseeable factors.”

“At this point, it is uncertain what types of technological developments will occur in what order, as well as what tangential legal structures will be in place at that time.”

“This arguably places most legal discussions of ‘robot rights’ in the entertaining rather than scientific or pragmatic realm.”

“Partly explaining why some describe those of us who engage in such discussion as ‘crazy’ ”

Note: A pdf of the full paper may be downloaded via its link above.

COMING SOON : Robots feel the pain